Let moderation be key when opting for extra classes

Ms June Yong Chung Mee calls for parents to interact more with their children and model the behaviour they want to see in their children, instead of filling their time with enrichment classes (Give kids more space to be kids; Aug 7).

Ideally, parents should be the ones to impart values to children. In reality, however, this is not always possible.

Besides, most children also go through a stage of rebellion or self-assertion, of wanting to break free from parental control.

Time spent in tuition or enrichment classes may actually keep some children off the streets and prevent them from turning wayward.

In the past, mothers stayed home to raise children while fathers were the sole breadwinners.

This is often not the case today. Whether out of necessity or choice, many mothers today work and children are left to their own devices for many hours in a day.

The chances of succumbing to the lure of the latest gadgets and meeting unsavoury characters online are high.

Time spent in tuition classes, though pressurising or stressful, may be the lesser of two evils.

Tuition classes do instil social skills in students as they learn in small groups.

And I have come across tutors who inspire their students to reach for greater heights, and to never give up.

Students learn to persevere and be resilient too.

These tutors also tell students that failures are stepping stones to success and instil feelings of self-worth.

Every child has his own stress-tolerance level. Some actually thrive on some amount of pressure. Perhaps parents can allow some leeway for their children to decide if they wish to attend additional enrichment classes, depending on their interests and schedules.

The adage, everything in moderation, applies here too.

Let moderation be the key consideration when parents sign their children up for extra lessons.

Low Siew Hua (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2018, with the headline 'Let moderation be key when opting for extra classes'. Subscribe